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Get Up to Speed on PMIS: What Parents & Children Should Know

Updated: Jun 15, 2020

by Annita M. Taylor, MBA, MSN, APRN, ANP

As the mystery of Coronavirus/COVID-19 continues to unfold, new signs and symptoms have begun to appear. According to the CDC, an extremely rare and potentially fatal condition similar to Kawasaki Disease has affected over 100 children stricken by COVID-19 with 3 known deaths from this illness in New York State to date. Doctors are seeing more cases of what is known now as Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS).

Although children have accounted for less COVID-19 cases than adults, doctors are seeing PMIS which is assumed to be delayed symptoms in children who are battling COVID-19 or who have been exposed to it.

It is not known exactly why children are now experiencing PMIS; however, one theory is a virus has the ability to change the body’s immune system and cause inflammation. This inflammation can extend to the surrounding areas of the major organs specifically the heart. Kawasaki Disease is a rare disease that affects roughly 20,000 children in America annually. It is usually found in Asian countries. This disease causes inflammation in the blood vessels.

The signs and symptoms of PMIS that are similar to Kawasaki are:

  • Prolonged fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher lasting for at least 3 to 5 days

  • Feeling tired and having a lack of energy

  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck

  • Swollen and or dry lips

  • Stomach and or joint pain

  • Diarrhea

  • Rash

PMIS can only be treated in a hospital setting. If you see any unusual changes in your child’s behavior/health and you suspect PMIS, get him or her to the nearest hospital immediately. Addressing these symptoms timely can be key to a speedy recovery.

Stay safe, informed, and healthy!

NP, A.M. Taylor

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